1. Delhi High
Court granted respite to broadcasters
Yesterday, the Delhi High Court not only asked the TRAI to not
take action against broadcasters who exceeded the ad-cap enforced
by TRAI but also asked the broadcasters to maintain records of the
airtime on a weekly basis. The TRAI regulations significantly
restrict advertising on television, which, if imposed, will
accelerate the growth of digital advertising in India, with video
advertising, in particular, benefiting from this move. The maximum
duration limit of advertisements allowed was 12 minutes per hour,
but with the leftover advertisement duration (if any) carried over
to the next hour. This is applicable to advertising spots,
info-commercials and house inventory from the broadcaster. Ad
breaks were allowed only during breaks for live sporting events,
like half time in football or hockey match. Only full screen ads
were allowed. Broadcasters were asked to ensure that the audio
level of advertisements should not be higher than the audio level
of the programs and finally, the broadcasters had to submit the
details of ad carried in their channel in the format specified by
TRAI, within 15 days from the end of a quarter. The broadcasters
had filed a case in the Delhi High Court following the dismissal of
their appeal before the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate
Tribunal on jurisdictional grounds. This was because the
Supreme Court had struck down TDSAT's powers to adjudicate
against TRAI regulations. The next date of the next hearing is
March 13, 2014.
PSA view - This temporary relief is a big
respite for the broadcasters as the regulation had put in
unnecessary restrictions on the monetization of media business.
2.NATGRID Project set to initiate begin
NATGRID was set up by the government in the aftermath of Mumbai
attacks to enable monitoring of terrorist operations through
existing banking, finance and transportation networks. Various
ministries and departments, called provider agencies, which hold 21
categories of citizen database like bank account details, telephone
records, passport data and vehicle registration details, are
supposed to be linked and shared in real-time through the NATGRID
with the 11 intelligence and investigative agencies, termed as user
agencies. The government will soon be issuing an executive order to
give a legal framework and mandate to NATGRID.
PSA view -The government is of the opinion that
it can use data from Centralized Monitoring System as well as that
available via Aadhar and pass it around the various government
departments through the NATGRID to stop terrorism. However, on the
hindsight NATGRID can have adverse effect. As it can be used as a
channel to target people who might be against the
government. It is to be seen how accurately this project evolves
and is used by government agencies.
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